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Experiment: Chocolate Souffle

Posted by Jeanne on February 17, 2010

This is what I get for asking Erika what I should make for a blog post.

Make a souffle, she says.  So I did.  And it worked!  It was light and fluffy and rich and chocolatey all at the same time.

Souffle au Chocolat (Chocolate Souffle), adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Makes six to eight servings.

Ingredients:

7 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate (I used 3 squares of baking chocolate leftover from the cookie extravaganza, and some good chocolate chips)

1/3 cup espresso

1/3 cup flour

2 cups milk

3 TB butter, plus extra for greasing souffle plan

4 egg yolks

1 TB vanilla extract

6 egg whites

A pinch of salt

1/2 C sugar

Powdered sugar for shaking

Equipment:

A small saucepan with a cover set inside a larger pan of simmering water (a double boiler setup – I used a pyrex bowl set on a saucepan of water and a plate for a lid).

A 2 to 2.5 quart souffle dish approximately 8 inches in diameter

A 2-quart saucepan

A whisk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425F.

Place the chocolate and espresso in the top bowl of your double boiler setup.  Cover and remove from heat – let the chocolate melt while you continue with the rest of the recipe.

Mmmmmmelty

Smear the inside of the baking dish with butter.  Surround with a collar of aluminum foil, at least three inches above the rim of the souffle dish.

Measure the flour into the saucepan.  Start whisking the milk by droplets for the first about 0.25 cup to ensure a smooth mixture – then rapidly add the remaining.  Add the butter and stir over moderate heat until boiling.  Boil, stirring constantly, for two minutes.  Remove from heat and beat a minute or so to cool slightly.

This is me whisking and wondering if my arm will fall off before the timer dings.

One by one, whisk the egg yolks into the sauce, then add the smoothly melted chocolate and the vanilla.

Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar a bit at a time and continue until stiff shining peaks are formed (we cheated and used a stand mixer).

Beating egg whites is the coolest thing ever – you take something gelatinous and wiggly and turn it into something so light but with such volume.  Truly amazing.

Scrape the chocolate mixture into the side of the egg white bowl and carefully fold them together until combined.  Turn the souffle mixture into the prepared dish and set on a rack in the lower quarter of the preheated oven.  Lower the heat to 375F.

In 35 to 40 minutes, when the top of the souffle has cracked, rapidly sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.  Continue baking another 5 to 10 minutes – for a softer center, a skewer should come out lightly coated with batter.  For a more solid center, the skewer should come out clean.  Serve immediately.

Could have been prettier, but I don’t think it could have tasted any better.

I have learned not to ask Erika for cooking ideas, and also that making souffle is not that bad.  I win!

Chocolate Souffle on FoodistaChocolate Souffle

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